STEERING COMMITTEE

Meet the Leading Change Steering Committee

Our vision for a more sustainable future within a generation is led and informed by young people with a passion for sustainability. Our Steering Committee is a group of driven young leaders who define and enable our events, projects, and impact.

Loïc Eloy
Partnerships

Sustainability has been at the heart of many of Loïc Eloy’s projects and involvements. Loïc recently joined EY’s Climate Change & Sustainability Services team as a consultant, where he works with clients to improve their sustainability performance in the face of rising risks and opportunities that a sustainable transition entails. Prior to that, Loïc was an advisor at Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG), where he assisted executives in their decision-making through fact-based analyses. He was also involved in DGIG’s Sustainability Committee, in which he gained a better understanding of the implications of climate change on the insurance industry.

Loïc lived in China for 14 years before moving to Montreal in 2015 to pursue his studies at McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management. There he completed concentrations in Finance, Business Analytics and Sustainability. During his time at university, he presided over the Desautels Sustainability Network (DSN), a student organization that promotes sustainability within the faculty and across Montreal, in part by connecting students to professionals working to improve sustainability in various fields. Additionally, he was a jury member representing McGill at Finance & Sustainability Initiative’s Competition for Best Sustainability Report, in which he assessed the sustainability reports of select companies from the perspective of investors. 

Shelby Empey

Shelby Empey
Participants & Delegates

Shelby Empey is Métis from the Orillia area. She is a first-year law student at the University of Ottawa where she plans on pursuing a career as an environmental lawyer. She holds a Bachelor of Science Honours from Queen’s University with a major in environmental science. Her undergraduate research focused on the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations and water quality.

 She has worked for Ontario Parks for the past seven summers in various roles. When she is not doing school, Shelby enjoys playing hockey, baseball and blogging. Shelby is the founder of @lawstudentcanada, a blog dedicated to increasing the transparency of the law school admission process and to create equity amongst under-represented groups in the legal profession.  She is an advocate for sustainability, Indigenous rights, and inclusivity. She is a Leading Change Alumni and is excited to transition to her new role as a Director of Participants for Leading Change.

Sarah Hanson
Indigenous Relations

Sarah Hanson is Anishinaabe from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, currently living, working and studying in Ottawa. Having finished a Biology degree from Queen’s University, where she gained valuable skills in science, advocacy and leadership, Sarah is continuing her education at Carleton University in Indigenous Studies. 

Prior to finishing her degree at Queen’s University, Sarah participated in an international internship for Indigenous youth where she lived and worked in Guyana, setting up robotics programs in 5 underperforming schools for youth in the capital. After returning to Canada, Sarah finished her Biology degree and began working at Crown Indigenous-Relations and Northern Affairs Canada as a Junior Environmental Policy Analyst. Through her work with the Indigenous Community-Based Monitoring Program, Sarah has been able to combine her Indigenous ancestry to western science. 

In the future, Sarah would like to continue sharing her inherent connection to the land with more youth worldwide while also helping to bridge the gap between traditional knowledge and western science. 

Rebecca Klaassen
Programs

Rebecca Klaassen is passionate about mobilizing young people to drive impact, transform systems and build more inclusive and sustainable communities. As the Program Manager of CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network, she works to connect, develop and activate a network of 3000+ rising and underrepresented civic leaders from across the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area.

Prior to joining CivicAction, Rebecca coordinated the Toronto RISE project for Apathy is Boring, where she supported youth in becoming more civically and democratically engaged, and was a facilitator for Amplify, a transatlantic youth dialogue. She has worked internationally facilitating programming in Uganda, Fiji, and South Africa, and is an avid traveler. Since completing her Bachelor of Social Sciences in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa, Rebecca has been interested in exploring how young people can engage with global issues in ethical and meaningful ways and has given a TEDx talk on the subject.

Alicia M. Richins

Alicia M. Richins
Programs

Alicia M. Richins is a sustainability and social impact consultant and a fierce advocate of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She defines her personal mission as the advancement of sustainable development in order to secure resilient futures for all. 

With extensive experience in international development, nonprofits and community organizations, she works with forward-thinking organizations to assess, amplify and embed their desired social and environmental impact, using the UN SDGs as a guiding framework. As Partnerships and Standards Manager at the Common Approach to Impact Measurement, Alicia leads the development and adoption of the Common Approach by social purpose organizations across the country. 

A proud dual citizen of Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, Alicia holds a Master in Environmental Studies (Planning Concentration) and a BA in Economics and Social Science (Honours), both from York University. Alicia is excited to join the Leading Change Steering Committee as Director of Programs and put her skills in event management and facilitation to use in the convening and activation of youth climate leaders. 

Shruthi Sundar
Alumni Engagement

Shruthi Sundar currently works with the Delphi Group as a Research Analyst specializing in ESG reporting and Climate Change Assessments, where she helps leading companies in Canada enhance their climate and sustainability strategy. 

Born and raised in Bangalore, India, she moved to Canada in 2019 and completed her post-graduate certificate in Sustainable Business Management from Seneca College, where she explored Carbon Accounting Methodology, the impact of UN Sustainable Development Goals, and conducted a capstone project for a vegan accessories company on driving sustainability. She has been an active volunteer with not-for-profit organizations such as The Rotary Club International, Sustainability Network and student group organizations in various roles ranging from organizing marathons for charitable causes to developing communication strategies. 

She is passionate about engaging with youth members in meaningful conversations to accelerate change. 

Austin Zacharko

Austin Zacharko
Participants & Delegates

Austin is a Métis man who grew up and is currently living in Edmonton, Alberta. He has completed a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta as well as an M.Eng in Sustainable Energy Engineering at Carleton University. Austin is also a registered E.I.T with APEGA and has recently joined the Delphi Group as a research analyst. In this role, Austin completes research on various sustainability topics, engages with subject matter experts, and works on the quantification of greenhouse gases. Austin specializes at effectively communicating complex topics in plain language to diverse groups of people.

Sustainability has been a passion of his since high school. Austin has helped design and build a zero-emission (hydrogen fuel cell electric) vehicle; participated in research at the University of Sydney on climate patterns; and worked with an NGO in Accra, Ghana which aimed at addressing systemic social issues across the country. In his free time, Austin enjoys spending time outdoors rock climbing, back-country hiking, canoeing, and snowboarding.

Aniqah Zowmi
Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Aniqah Zowmi has a passion for mainstreaming diversity and inclusion at all levels of government and civic organization. She is currently a Regional Focal Point for the United Nations Major Group of Children and Youth (MGCY), Member of the Youth Advisory Group to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO), and is serving a term as the Unspoken Smiles Representative to the United Nations Department of Global Communications Youth Representatives Steering Committee.

Aniqah was a Lead Author for the UNESCO publication “A Youth-Led Guide on Preventing Violent Extremism through Education”. Aniqah recently completed a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies at Brock University, researching the intersection between social enterprise and feminist and anti-colonialist theory.

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